Can Dart Players Drink Alcohol? Best 2023 Tips for Your Safety!

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Are you passionate about playing darts, but also love the occasional drink? Have you ever wondered if it is safe to combine the two activities? Well, all your questions are answered here!

As a dart player, it's important to be aware of the health risks associated with drinking alcohol while playing.

In this post, we’ll discuss how these risks can be minimized and provide some handy tips on staying safe when drinking and taking part in dart events like tournaments or pub leagues.

So grab a drink (non-alcoholic for now), settle down, and get ready to learn how to make sure that your darts experience remains fun and safe!


Take away key points:

- Many players think drinking alcohol will make you a better player and improve their games on the stage

- PDC and WDF use different anti-doping regulations and anti alcohol tests to improve their image and ensure proper sponsorships

- Some of the best players drink alcohol which most people find strange today but they are not allowed to do so on the stage during the dart games

Beginners and professional darts players & drinking alcohol: Yes or no?

If you want to play darts, you may or may not have alcoholic drinks. Let's check the current rules and see whether you should change your drinking habits when playing darts.

Alcohol and playing darts: The past

Why did darts ban drinking?

Darts and alcohol have been intertwined for a long time and have a long history, with drinking often seen as an essential part of the game. The origins of darts can be traced back to medieval England, where soldiers would throw arrows at wine casks. As the game evolved, it became popular in pubs across the country, where players would often enjoy a pint or two while throwing darts.

Some of the most legendary darts players of all time, such as Eric Bristow and Phil Taylor, were known for their ability to drink alcohol heavily while playing. However, in recent years, there has been a push to separate darts and drinking alcohol, with many World Championship tournaments banning drinking during matches and encouraging more responsible consumption overall for most professional players.

Despite this, darts and drinking alcohol remain closely linked in the public imagination, with many fans still enjoying a drink or two while watching their favorite darts players compete.

Current rules about drinking alcohol and playing darts

Since 1989, alcohol consumption during darts matches has been banned and this rule remained in place even after the formation of the World Darts Federation (WDF), now known as the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).

The Professional Darts Corporation recognizes that drinking alcohol on stage during matches does not reflect well on sponsors and does not present darts players as professional role models. Therefore, today, darts players drink iced water to stay hydrated and maintain a professional image.

Even during breaks or intervals, drinking is not permitted as it goes against the sport's effort to distance itself from excessive alcohol consumption. While alcohol is no longer a banned substance, many professional players are tested for various substances, but finding alcohol in their system would not result in any penalties. 

Although some sports, such as archery, continue to ban alcohol for safety reasons, darts have not implemented such rules to drink alcohol. While some players believe they perform better after having a drink, the sport has become increasingly professional, and any potential benefits of alcohol are outweighed by the need for focus and precision.

Playing darts and drinking alcohol: The future

does drinking make you better at darts

Despite the ban on alcohol during matches, some darts players struggled with addiction and drank heavily before playing. Andy Fordham, who sadly passed away in 2021 at the age of 59, admitted to drinking a large amount of alcohol before his first game at Lakeside, which led to him feeling like he needed to drink the same amount before every match. This could consist of a full hip flask of brandy and a case of Holsten Pils. While some players may not be as open about their relationship with alcohol, it is widely known that drinking has been a significant part of the sport's culture.

Former world champion Jelle Klaasen claimed that only a few of the top 32 players at the time did not drink before a match. Co Stompe, another Dutch player, also spoke out against the level of drinking in the sport. Stompe likened pre-game alcohol consumption to a form of doping, as it can help calm nerves and keep players focused. You can find countless stories like these from the best darts players who drank alcohol for a better game.

However, this advantage could make the sport unfair for those who do not drink before playing. While implementing a rule to ban alcohol before matches may be a gradual process, it could ultimately lead to a fairer playing field and better welfare for players in the long run.

Does drinking alcohol improve performance of professional darts players?

While some darts players believe that alcohol can help settle their nerves during a game, the effects of drinking on performance are questionable. According to Prof Robert Adron Harris, from the University of Texas, low levels of alcohol can reduce anxiety and nervousness, which may improve task performance for many players.

However, frequent drinking for current players who have multiple matches can lead to dependency, particularly in a sport where drinking is part of the culture. As tolerance for alcohol increases, darts players find they may need to drink more each dart-playing game to stay relaxed, creating a strong dependency on alcohol.

Going cold turkey from alcohol can impact the self-belief and physical well-being of a darts player, causing symptoms such as tremors, anxiety, and increased sweating. While reducing alcohol consumption may be difficult at first, learning to manage nerves without external substances can be beneficial in the long run for professional players.

Darts organizations should invest in trainers, therapists, and sports psychologists to help darts players manage performance anxiety without relying on alcohol. The issue of drinking in the crowd remains separate from the performance of most professional darts players.


Why do dart players have big stomachs?

Dart players tend to have bigger stomachs or be overweight because darts is traditionally a pub game, particularly in the UK.

Additionally, the sport does not require players to be physically fit to perform at the highest level, so being overweight is not a disadvantage.

Some players have stated that their weight can help them maintain balance and stability while throwing the darts. However, with the increasing professionalization of the sport, more players are now focusing on their fitness and diet to improve their performance.

Why did darts ban drinking?

Do professional darts players drink?

Darts did not ban drinking outright, but in 1989 they did ban alcohol consumption during matches. This was due to pressure from sponsors and the mainstream media who believed that darts' association with heavy drinking sent the wrong message to younger viewers and detracted from the professional image of the sport.

Since then, players have been restricted to drinking only water during matches.

While some players may still drink alcohol before a match, it is not regulated by the World Darts Federation (WDF) and there is no opportunity to drink during matches or breaks.

Do professional darts players drink?

While alcohol consumption is not allowed during matches, many professional darts players do drink alcohol outside of competition, and some have even admitted to drinking before matches.

However, there is also a growing trend of players focusing on their fitness and diet to improve their performance, so not all players consume alcohol regularly.

Does drinking make you better at darts?

Research on the effects of alcohol consumption on darts' performance has yielded conflicting results. Some studies suggest that low levels of alcohol can reduce anxiety and nervousness, which may improve performance, but other research shows that alcohol has no noticeable improvement in performance in best dart players.

While some players believe that drinking can help settle their nerves during a game, frequent drinking can lead to dependency and have negative impacts on overall health and performance. Therefore, it is not recommended for a darts player to drink alcohol as a means of improving darts performance.


Darts can be a fun game to play amongst friends and family. Remember that alcohol may give you a short-term boost in skill, however by no means should it be seen as acceptable to drink alcohol during a darts match.

To ensure the longevity of your performance, it is best to abstain from drinking any form of alcohol while playing darts. Drinking could also lead to disappointment in yourself and others when it affects your stance or leads to any sponsorship opportunities slipping away.

To enjoy the thrill of playing darts and aim for maximum accuracy, avoid relying on liquor for pleasure or increased capability.

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